Inmarsat, SITAONAIR and Philippine Airlines announced an upgrade and expansion of inflight connectivity on the airline’s fleet this week. The Global Xpress (GX) platform will deliver a significant boost to passengers and connected crew functions as the upgrades are deployed.
The carrier currently carries L-band service powered by SITAONAIR on its 777s (8 in service). Those aircraft will be upgraded to GX thanks to the new deal. PAL will also add GX to its new A350 (6 on order) and A321 (21 neo on order, ceo fleet in service, unclear which get the kit) aircraft. Conspicuously absent in the release is any mention of the A330 fleet (15 in service, 5 pending) PAL operates.
The upgrade facet of the Philippine Airlines/SITAONAIR/Inmarsat GX deal is hard to understate. The release calls attention to it a couple times in the opening paragraphs (emphasis mine):
SITAONAIR is to deliver the upgrade of PAL’s existing B777 Swift Broadband fleet to GX Aviation, together with line-fitting PAL’s new Airbus A350s and A321s. Once complete, SITAONAIR will activate its rich nose-to-tail package of bespoke inflight connectivity (IFC) services, achieving a significantly enhanced and consistent connected experience for passengers and cabin crews.
SITAONAIR’s award-winning, intuitive Internet ONAIR portal offers contextualized and personalized content, satisfying digitally-demanding passengers over GX connectivity by mirroring their ‘at-home’ experience, and with free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions and cheaper price plans on offer to all passengers.
In addition to being woefully underpowered for most plane-wide data needs L-band is also terribly expensive. Upgrading to GX allows Philippine Airlines to deliver both a better experience and drop the price to the passenger.
The PAL system will also extend connectivity to the in-seat entertainment system as SITAONAIR develops “integrated, connected inflight entertainment from Zodiac Inflight Innovations” in the deal. Details on exactly what that means remain scarce. Potential exists for real-time news, frequently updated short video clips or full content updates over the GX kit, with price and complexity considerations on all fronts.
(Yes, I know the A330 in the header image is not getting the kit; it just happens to be the photo of a PAL plane I have)
More from APEX Expo 2017
- Faster wifi flying on Singapore 777s
- Adventures in PreCheck: Fixing a broken PNR
- Gogo Vision Touch IFE to launch on Delta’s CSeries in 2018
- Mobile messaging to be free on Delta flights
- Philippine Airlines goes GX; faster wifi coming soon
- AirAsia firms high-speed connectivity plans
- Inflight connectivity coming to Interjet
- Netflix wants your inflight wifi to be free, but…
- Global Eagle’s Ka connectivity takes flight
- Airbus’ Airspace A320s to Launch with JetBlue
- Boeing v Airbus on spaciousness and in-flight comfort
- Air Europa’s streaming upgrade: Next-gen from BoardConnect
- XTS is dead. Long live XTS. Panasonic sees "radical change" coming
- Delivering big PaxEx improvements over a low bandwidth connection
- When the IFE system can watch you back
- Can a new recline reshape long-haul economy travel?
- Airconnect Go set to stream on Canadian North Airlines this winter
- Alaska Airlines adds SkyLights’ VR headsets to IFE lineup
- Aeromexico confirms Viasat connectivity on MAX fleet
- New livery, free wifi coming to Aer Lingus in 2019
- Air France Connect brings inflight wifi live on board
- Another tiny lavatory preps for flight on American Airlines
- Finnair ends free trial, rolls out wifi charges
- Now boarding: Bluetooth audio connections
- DLD 213: APEX EXPO – Next Year in Los Angeles
- Bringing IoT to flight: Sensors, alerts, payments and more from APEX EXPO 2018
- A LEO milestone for Global Eagle, Telesat
- PaxEx Update: APEX EXPO
- DLD 260: APEX EXPO 2019–The hunt for news!
- Long live the Queen: The Weekly Wrap
- OneWeb, GDC Technics partner on new ESA solution
- SmartSky announces ATG availability for regional airlines
- Inmarsat, GDC celebrate 737 certification of Falcon 300 terminal for GX Aviation
- Anuvu adds $50 million for MicroGEO connectivity growth
- Malaysia Airlines plans IFE update with Flymingo
- Panasonic Avionics, OneWeb team for inflight internet service
- Anuvu boosts Ka-band connectivity with dual panel antenna
- Virgin Australia picks 2Ku for Wi-Fi boost
- Dimmable windows coming to the A350 with Starlux
- Panasonic Avionics highlights Stellar Blu antenna for OneWeb LEO service
- A first look at Spirit’s new seats
- Bringing the moving map online: Panasonic’s Arc gets a data feed
- Pairing, casting and streaming: The next generation of inflight entertainment emerges
- Starlink/JSX STC slips
- SLAs suck: Seeking a service specification shift
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.